Hereford

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

HEREFORD, a city (ancient), having separate jurisdiction, locally in the hundred of Grimsworth, county of HEREFORD, of which it is the chief town, 135 miles (W.N.W.) from London, containing, exclusively of the townships of Lower Bullingham and Grafton, which are in the hundred of Webtree, 9090 inhabitants. This place is thought to have derived its origin from a Roman station in the neighbourhood, named Ariconium, supposed to be the present Kenchester, and its more recent name of Her-ford, or Here-ford, which is pure Saxon, importing "a military ford", from its having been, previously to the erection of the bridge, a pass over the river Wye, on the bank of which it is situated. Hereford is said to have become the seat of an episcopal see before the invasion of Britain by the Saxons; and, in 655, Oswy, King of Mercia, made it part of the diocese of Lichfield, which then included the whole Mercian kingdom. At a synod held here by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 673, the division of the diocese of Lichfield was decreed, to which Wilford, then bishop of that see, refused assent to the decree, and was subsequently deprived of part of his diocese for contumacy; but with the consent of Sexulph, his successor, Hereford was disunited from Lichfield, and restored to its original independence as a distinct diocese, and Putta, who previously held the see of Rochester, was made bishop in 680.

It was the capital of the kingdom of Mercia, and possessed a large church in the reign of Offa, who, it is stated, founded the cathedral in expiation of the murder of Ethelbert, King of the East Angles, whose body was removed hither from its original place of sepulture in 782. In the reign of Athelstan the city occupied an area of eighteen hundred yards in circuit, and, with the exception of an extent of five hundred and fifty yards guarded by the river, which formed a natural barrier, was surrounded with walls sixteen feet in height, in which were six gates and fifteen embattled towers thirty-four feet high; to these fortifications, which were nearly perfect in Leland's time, a castle was added by Edward the Elder.

About 1055, a battle was fought two miles from this place between Ralph, Earl of Hereford, and Griffith, Prince of Wales, in which the former was defeated; and the Welch, having taken the city, massacred the inhabitants, and reduced it to a heap of ruins. Harold, afterwards king, marched against the Welch, whom he attacked and defeated with great slaughter: he then repaired the fortifications and enlarged the castle, to secure the city against the future inroads of the invaders. From the earliest period the citizens have enjoyed a high reputation for loyalty, and Hereford has in consequence become the scene of many sanguinary conflicts and sieges; it held out successfully against the first attack of Stephen, who was opposed by Milo, son of Walter, constable of England, for which service the latter was made Earl of Hereford, by the Empress Maud, in 1141; the patent, which is still extant, was the first ever granted for the creation of an earl: but in the same year Stephen, having again laid siege to the city, reduced it, and divested Milo of his recent honours.

The great council of the realm assembled here to decide on the deposition of Edward II.; and here likewise Hugh le Despencer, the Earl of Arundel, and three others, were executed. At the commencement of the parliamentary war, Hereford was garrisoned for the king, but on the approach of an army under Sir William Waller, in April 1643, it was surrendered without opposition; on the subsequent retreat of Waller, it was again occupied by a party of royalists, who, under the governorship of Barnabas Scudamore, Esq., made a gallant defence against the Scots, commanded by the Earl of Leven, who was forced to raise the siege. The city was subsequently the scene of some minor transactions during the war, and was ultimately taken by stratagem, when the castle was dismantled, and the fortifications levelled, by order of the parliament. At the Restoration, the inhabitants received from Charles II. a new charter, with extended privileges, also new heraldic bearings, emblematical of fidelity to the royal cause.

The city occupies a gentle eminence on the northern bank of the river Wye, and is surrounded by a fertile tract of country, consisting of orchards, with rich arable and pasture land: the environs, especially along the banks of the river, are celebrated for picturesque beauty. The principal streets are wide and airy; and, together with the lanes and passages, are well lighted with gas, and paved under the provisions of an act of parliament: the town is also abundantly supplied with water. The houses in general are good, and during the last fifty years considerable improvements have been made in the general appearance of the place. A bridge of six arches was erected over the river Wye, about the end of the fifteenth century, replacing a wooden bridge built in the reign of Henry I.

The Hereford reading society was established in 1796; and, in 1815, a permanent library, containing a valuable collection of ancient and modern works, was instituted by the late Benjamin Fallows, Esq.; it is under the direction of a president, treasurer, librarian, and a committee; the subscription is 30s. per annum, and the number of members about one hundred and thirty. An agricultural society was established in 1797, and a horticultural society in 1826. The theatre, a commodious edifice in Broad-street, was erected about 1789. Races are held in August, when a gold cup, three plates of £50 each, and sweepstakes, are run for; the course comprises a circuit of two miles. Assemblies commence in October, and are held generally once a month during the winter season, he triennial music meetings of the choirs of Hereford, Worcester, and Gloucester, established in 1724, take place here during three days in September; oratorios are performed in the morning at the cathedral, and in the evening miscellaneous concerts and balls are held at the county hall; the receipts, after payment of the expenses, are appropriated to the benefit of the widows and orphans of the distressed clergy. A bowling-green is supported by subscription.

From the want of greater facility of communication, Hereford has never attained eminence in trade or manufactures; the principal articles of commerce are gloves of the best kinds, which are made in less quantities than formerly; cider and hops, the latter of which are extensively cultivated in the vicinity; and oak and oak-bark: a considerable quantity of timber and bark is annually sent to Chepstow, and shipped thence for Ireland, and the different ports and yards for ship-building in England. Salmon of excellent quality are caught in the river Wye, but not in so great abundance as formerly, when here, as elsewhere, a condition was inserted in the indentures of apprentices that they should not be compelled to eat it more than a certain number of days in the week. To remedy the inconvenience arising from the difficulty of navigation in the river, an act of parliament was obtained, in 1791, for cutting a canal to join the Severn at Gloucester; but it has not been completed, only extending at present to Ledbury, and consequently Hereford derives no benefit from the undertaking.

Coal is principally supplied from the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, by conveyance up the Wye, which is navigable for barges of from eighteen to thirty tons (for towing which a path was made by act of parliament in 1809), and from the neighbourhood of Abergavenny, along a rail-road, to Monmouth Cap, thirteen miles hence. In 1826, an act was obtained to extend this rail-road to Hereford, which design having been completed, the supply of coal has been materially increased, and the price considerably diminished; it is under the direction of three different companies, and is called the Llanfihangel, Grosmont, and Hereford tram-road. In 1668, the late Lord Scudamore left £400 to be lent without interest, in order to establish a woollen manufactory; but not being applied for, it was put out to interest, and, in 1772, £500 was expended in an attempt to instruct a portion of the poorer class in spinning wool, which however failed; the remainder of this bequest has increased to £3000 three per cents.; a portion of this trust money is occasionally lent to manufacturers of woollen cloth, flannel goods, &c., for a limited time, without interest, for finding employment for the poor inhabitants, especially women and children.

The markets are on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and fairs are held on the Tuesday after Candlemas-day; on the Wednesday in Easter week, for cattle and sheep; May 19th; July 1st, for wool: October 20th is a great fair for cattle and hops; at the May fair, granted by Henry I. to Bishop Richard, soon after; 1120, and commonly known as the "nine days fair", the bishop's bailiff, or bailiff of the manor called the Barton, or the Bishop's fee, has considerable power, but does not exercise magisterial authority. As lords of this fee the bishops formerly exercised considerable authority in the city; they administered justice within its limits, and had a prison within the walls of their palace; they also held courts baron, leet, and pie-powder, but most of these privileges have become obsolete. In 1816, an act of parliament was passed for forming a market-place, and effecting other improvements, which contained a clause providing accommodation for slaughtering cattle; and, in 1822, fourteen slaughter-houses were erected, on the site of part of the old city wall, northward of the market-place; the fish-market is well supplied with sea fish from Wales and Bristol.

The city was first incorporated by charter of Richard I., dated at Westminster in 1189, and has since that period received twenty-four confirmatory charters from successive monarchs, under the last of which, the government was vested in a mayor, high steward, deputy steward (who performs the duty of recorder), two chamberlains, six aldermen, and twenty-four chief citizens, assisted by a town clerk, coroner, sword bearer, and four Serjeants at mace, and other officers. The mayor is annually chosen from the body corporate, the members of which usually succeed by rotation, on the first Monday in August, and is sworn into office on the first Monday after the festival of St. Michael. The high steward, who is generally a nobleman, holding the office for life, appoints a deputy learned in the law: the chamberlains and the coroner are appointed by the corporation.

The mayor (who is keeper of the city gaol and clerk of the market, which offices he may execute by deputy), the late mayor, (who acts as escheator for the year after his mayoralty), the high steward, the deputy steward, and the six aldermen, are justices of the peace within the city and liberties. The freedom of the city is inherited by the eldest sons of freemen, acquired by servitude within the city, marriage with a freeman's widow, and with the eldest daughter of a freeman, provided he has no male issue, by gift of the corporation, or by purchase, the usual fee being £33. 11. 9. The corporation hold quarterly courts of session, and meetings daily at the guildhall, for determining on affairs of police; and a court of record on the Monday and Thursday in every week, for the recovery of debts to any amount, under the charter of James I., confirmed by William III. The county assizes are held here, likewise the petty sessions for the hundred of Grimsworth every Saturday; and, under certain restrictions, those of Oyer and Terminer for the whole of South Wales.

The old town and shire-hall, erected in the reign of James I., is a large edifice of timber and brick, supported on twenty-seven pillars of solid oak: it formerly contained an upper story, in which were chambers for the fourteen different trading companies of the city, but has been much reduced in height and beauty, and, though formerly appropriated, by consent of the corporation, as proprietors of it, to the courts of assize, session, and public meetings for the county, was surrendered to that body in 1817

The new shire-hall was erected by act of parliament passed in the 55th of George III., authorising a sum not exceeding £30,000 to be raised, for the purpose of building courts of justice, county hall, &c., together with a depôt for arms and military clothing, including the purchase of an appropriate site; also a further sum of £3150, to purchase a house for the accommodation of the judges. This edifice has been completed from a design by Mr. Smirke; the portico in front is a fine specimen of Grecian Doric architecture, copied from the Temple of Theseus at Athens: a subterraneous passage, through which prisoners are brought to the bar, leads to the Crown court, from an apartment beneath the grand jury room, in which they are kept during the trials; the hall is decorated with portraits of George III. and the late Duke of Norfolk, and here the quarter sessions, county meetings, and the triennial musical festivals, are held.

The city gaol is an ancient building, the original part containing seven cells for felons, and three sleeping-rooms for debtors; to which an addition has recently been made, comprising four cells for males, and three for females, with spacious airing-yards. The county gaol was erected in 1798, upon Mr. Howard's plan, and occupies the site of St. Guthlac's priory, at the foot of Aylestone hill, being enclosed by a brick wall: the entrance, over which is the place of execution, is ornamented with Tuscan pillars; the prison contains appropriate apartments for the classification of prisoners of both sexes, with day-rooms, court-yard, inspection-room, a newly-built penitentiary, infirmary, chapel, workrooms, a room for the meeting of the county magistrates, and apartments for the gaoler and his family: the inspecting-room is about eighteen yards in diameter; nearly circular, and having six windows, which open into each court: the total expense of erecting it was £22,461. 7. 5., and the annual expenditure of the establishment is estimated at from £2000 to £3000. The elective franchise was conferred in the 23d of Edward I since which time the city has regularly returned two members to parliament: the right of election is vested in the freemen generally, nearly one thousand in number; the mayor is the returning officer.

The diocese of Hereford includes nearly the whole of the county, with part of Shropshire, four parishes in Monmouthshire, six in Montgomeryshire, six in Radnorshire, and twenty-one in Worcestershire. The ecclesiastical establishment consists of a bishop, dean, two archdeacons, six canons residentiary (of whom the dean is one), a precentor, chancellor, treasurer, twenty-eight prebendaries, twelve priests-vicars, one of whom is custos, four lay clerks, eight choristers, a head and under master of the grammar school, an organist, and other officers.

The cathedral, originally erected in expiation of the murder of Ethelbert, and dedicated to St. Mary and St. Ethelbert, was built by Melfrid, a viceroy under Egbert, about 825, principally by means of the propitiating gifts of Offa, but having fallen into decay in less than two centuries, it was rebuilt during the prelacy of Bishop Athelstan, or Ethelstan, between 1012 and 1015; it was subsequently destroyed by fire, and lay in ruins till 1079, when Bishop Robert de Lezinga, appointed to this see by William the Conqueror, commenced a new edifice, erected on the model of the church of Alcen, now Aix la Chapelle, which was completed by Bishop Raynelm in 1107, with the exception of the tower, that having been built by Bishop Giles de Braos in the following century. It is a noble cruciform structure, with a lofty tower rising from the intersection, formerly surmounted by a spire, which has been taken down.

The tower at the west end fell down in 1785, at which time the west front was rebuilt in a style different from the original, and the north porch, built by Bishop Booth in the sixteenth century, and various additions made by his predecessors since its original elevation, have given to the exterior of this edifice a great variety of architectural style. The nave, which is of Norman architecture, is separated from the aisles by massive circular columns and arches, above which are the triforium and clerestory, which were altered at the time of its being repaired. The north transept is a rich specimen of the early English, with large windows in the decorated style, having a triforium of exquisite beauty, and trefoiled circular clerestory windows.

The choir, which is handsome and well proportioned, is of the Norman character, intermixed with the early English style: the bishop's throne and the stalls are surmounted by ornamented canopies of tabernacle-work; and a very rich altar-piece was put up in 1816, the subject of which is Christ bearing the Cross, a copy, by Leeming, from the original picture over the altar in the chapel of Magdalene College, Oxford: the east window, forty feet high and twenty feet wide, representing the Lord's Supper, is considered the largest in this branch of the art since its revival in England; the figures are fifteen feet in height, beautifully painted by Mr. Backler, from West's picture of the Lord's Supper, at an expense of £2000, towards defraying which the late Dr. Cope, canon residentiary, bequeathed £500: near the choir was the shrine of St. Ethelbert, which was destroyed during the usurpation of Cromwell.

The arched roof of the upper transverse aisle is supported by a single column. Eastward of the choir is the Lady chapel, in the early style of English architecture, but of a character different from that of the transept, now used as a library, and containing a valuable collection of books: beneath this chapel is a fine crypt, called Golgotha, from the mass of human bones which it contained; it is supposed to have been originally the parochial church of St. John the Baptist. There are some beautiful chapels in the later style of English architecture, built by Bishop Audley and other prelates. The whole length of the interior of the cathedral, from east to west, is three hundred and twenty-five feet; of the great transept, from north to south, one hundred and forty feet; the height, from the area pavement to the vaulting, ninety-one feet, and the height of the central tower, two hundred and forty-four feet.

The cathedral contains monuments to the memory of thirty-four bishops of this see: the most ancient is that of Bishop Walter, who was consecrated by the Pope in the year 1060: there is likewise a splendid monument of Dr. Tyler, Bishop of Llandaff, and Dean of Hereford; and another of Sir Richard Pembridge, Knight of the Garter in the reign of Edward III. On the east side of the transept is a monument to the memory of Bishop Cantelupe, who died in 1282; his heart was brought to Hereford, and buried in the cathedral, and he was canonized in 1310; it is curiously adorned with a number of effigies, but is now somewhat mutilated; this tomb was a place of resort and reputed miraculous efficacy to pilgrims from all parts of Europe, no less than four hundred and twenty-five miracles having, according to monkish, story, been performed here: in consequence, the succeeding bishops of this diocese relinquished their ancient arms, which were those of St. Ethelbert, in order to assume the paternal coat of Cantelupe, which is continued at the present time. At the north-eastern extremity of the transept is a monument in memory of Velters Cornwall, Esq., representative in parliament of the county of Hereford for forty-six years; and amongst many others is a plain marble tablet to the memory of John Philips, the well-known author of poems entitled "The Splendid Shilling" and "Cyder".

The bishop's palace is an ancient structure westward of the cathedral, containing several elegant apartments, with a fine garden and grounds attached; it has also a handsome chapel, built by Bishop Butler, and completed in 1798. Near the palace was a Saxon edifice of very early date and curious structure, consisting of two stories, which were severally used as chapels, and dedicated to St. Catherine and St. Mary Magdalene; being in a ruinous condition, it was taken down in 1735. Of the chapter-house, only a very small portion remains: the chapter meetings are now held in a building attached to the south aisle of the cathedral, in which is an ancient map of the world upon vellum, illuminated with gilt Saxon characters; in the centre is an. inscription in black letter and a representation of the city of Jerusalem!: the date of this piece of antiquity is assigned to the reign of Henry III. Here also are preserved, in a neat frame, the ring, crosier, and balla, of Bishop Frilleck, who died in 1360; they were discovered in digging a grave in the choir, in August 1813.

The deanery is near the church, and four houses adjacent, in the gift of the bishop, are usually appropriated as residences for the prebendaries. There is also a good house of stone, with a spacious garden, in St. John's street, for the chancellor of the choir; and attached to the bishop's prebend is a very good house in Broad-street. The college is a brick building of the time of Edward IV., forming a quadrangle eastward of the cathedral, with which it communicates by a cloister one hundred feet in length, leading to the south end of the eastern transept: this edifice contains a chapel, a library, a spacious hall, common dining-room, and dormitories: in 1820, several attempts were made by some undiscovered incendiary to destroy this college by fire.

The city comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Nicholas, St. Owen, and St. Peter, all in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean of Hereford. The living of All Saints is a discharged vicarage, consolidated with that of St. Martin's, rated in the king's books at £8. 10., and in the patronage of the Dean, and Canons of Windsor: the church is an ancient structure partly in the Norman style of architecture, with a tower strengthened with buttresses and surmounted by a lofty spire: the nave is separated from the aisles by circular columns and pointed arches; and the interior contains a fine altar-piece, and some ancient stalls supposed to have been appropriated to the brethren of St. Anthony, to whom this church anciently belonged.

The living of St. John the Baptist's is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £7. 12. 1., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford; the north transept of the cathedral was, in 1796, appropriated as a church for this parish. The living of St. Martin's is a discharged vicarage, united to that of All Saints: the church, which stood on the bank of the Wye, near the bridge, was destroyed during the parliamentary war: it is now in contemplation to restore it, through the persevering exertions of the Rev. H.J. Symons, L.L.D., the present vicar, for which purpose a grant has been obtained from the Incorporated Society for building churches, &c., another from government, of £1000, and a donation of £100 from the Bishop of the diocese.

The living of the parish of St. Nicholas is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £10, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Crown: the church, which previously to the dissolution had two chantries in honour of the Virgin, is an ancient edifice with a tower. The living of St. Owen's is a rectory, united to the vicarage of St. Peter's, and rated in the king's books at £4. 10. 10.: the church was destroyed during the parliamentary war in the reign of Charles I.

The living of St. Peter's is a discharged vicarage, with the rectory of St. Owen's, rated in the king's books at £10. 0. 2., and in the patronage of the Rev. H. Gipps; the church, an ancient structure founded in 1070, in the Norman style of architecture, with a tower surmounted by a neat spire, was repaired and partly rebuilt in 1793: the nave is separated from the south aisle by octagonal pillars, and from the north by clustered columns, and the chancel contains stalls which were anciently appropriated to the brethren of St. Guthlac's priory; previously to the dissolution there were four chantries in the church. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, those in the late Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, Wesleyan Methodists, and a Roman Catholic chapel.

The college grammar school is of ancient foundation; the earliest authentic document extant is the appointment of Ricardus de Cornwaille as master, by Bishop Gilbert, in 1385, owing to the refusal of the chancellor, with whom the appointment then rested. The school was placed under the control of the Dean and Chapter, and a head and under master were appointed, by statute of Queen Elizabeth, in the first year of her reign, which received confirmation from Charles I., when he gave to the cathedral the "Caroline Statutes", by which £4 per annum is payable to a scholar in the University of Oxford.

The scholarships attached to this school are, four founded by Dean Langford, of which two are at Brasenose College, Oxford, of the value of £40 per annum each, arising from the rental of a house in High Town, Hereford, devised by Roger Philpotts in 1615; five in St. John's College, Cambridge, founded by deed enrolled in the Exchequer in 1682, by Sarah, Duchess of Somerset, the scholars to be chosen within forty days after each vacancy, by the Master and Fellows of that college, preference being given to natives of Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Herefordshire. Her Grace likewise bequeathed her manor of Thornhill, in Wiltshire, to Brasenose College, Oxford, and that of Wootton-Rivers, in the same county, to St. John's College, Cambridge, by will dated May 12th, 1686, for founding scholarships; the candidates to be elected alternately from the schools of Marlborough, Hereford, and Manchester, for ever: the value of each is computed at £30 per annum, the number varying according to the revenue; provision is likewise made by the same noble lady for twelve other scholars, who receive £1. 4. per week, and are elected in a similar manner: she also left the valuable living of Wootton-Rivers, in the alternate presentation of the above-mentioned colleges, to one of her aforesaid scholars.

The school, erected by the Dean and Chapter, under the statutes of Edward VI. and Elizabeth, stands on part of the decayed cloister, which was rebuilt in 1760, by subscription; it is eighty feet in length, forty wide, and forty in height: there are eleven scholars on the foundation, of whom seven are nominated as choristers by the canons, and four by the dean; the entire number of pupils is about one hundred, half of whom are boarded, the rest having the benefit of tuition only: the senior master receives £40 per annum, with a dwelling-house and other emoluments. Miles Smith, Bishop of Gloucester, the celebrated translator of the Bible; Gwillim, author of a system of Heraldry; John Davis, an eminent writing-master; and his pupil, Gethin, or Gerthinge, were educated in this school.

The Blue-coat charity schools were established in 1710, for clothing and educating forty boys and thirty girls, and afterwards making some provision for them on leaving school, by collections and other contributions; the premises have lately been handsomely rebuilt, with houses for the master and the mistress. A school for freemen's sons was established in 1809, and is supported by an annual contribution of £35 from the chief steward, the Rt. Hon. Earl Somers, aided by donations of £10 per annum each from the two city members, and from Sir Robert Price, one of the representatives for the county. A National school for girls is supported by voluntary contributions; there was formerly one for boys, which has been discontinued. A female adult school, established in 1816, affords instruction to about one hundred persons, who assemble twice a week, and are gratuitously taught to read by ladies. About three hundred and fifty children of the parishes of St. Peter and St. Owen are instructed, partly clothed, and supplied with Bibles and prayer-books, in Sunday schools. There is also an infant school, established in 1825, which contains upwards of one hundred children.

The general infirmary originated in a benefaction of £500 by the late Rev. Dr. Talbot, rector of Ullingswick, in this county, which was followed by ample subscriptions from the nobility, clergy, and gentry, of the city and county, with various donations and legacies: the ground on which the building stands was the gift of the late Earl of Oxford; the late Dr. Harris, Chancellor of this diocese, bequeathed £5000 towards the support of the institution, and the annual subscriptions amount to nearly £700; two physicians and two surgeons, attend daily, an apothecary resides in the house, and the expense of a regular chaplain is defrayed by the contributions of the bishop, the members of the cathedral, and the clergy of the city. The institution commenced March 26th, 1776, but the building was not open for the admission of patients for some years after; it is calculated to accommodate seventy persons, with every appropriate convenience for the requisite attendants, and is under the superintendence of governors, who are subscribers of £2. 2. per annum, or contributors of £20.

The lunatic asylum occupies part of the ground given for the infirmary, and is under the direction of the committee of that institution: it was erected by subscription, and opened in 1801; it is calculated for the reception of twenty patients, and is under the superintendence of a physician and a surgeon. There is a charity for assisting the necessitous widows and orphans of clergymen, and likewise clergymen themselves, disabled by age or infirmity, with narrow incomes; it is supported by annual subscriptions both of the clergy and laity of the archdeaconry. A lying-in charity was instituted in 1806. St. Ethelbert's hospital was built and endowed in the reign of Henry III., for the maintenance of ten poor persons, to be nominated and governed by a master, who is the treasurer of the cathedral, if residentiary, but the present master is the senior canon: the inmates receive 1s. 6d. weekly in summer, and 2s. 6d. in winter, and each of them has a garden.

St. Giles's hospital, founded by Richard II. in 1290, for monks of the order of Savigny, and afterwards Knights Templars, was rebuilt in 1770, and contains apartments for five poor men, each of whom receives 5s. per week. Williams's hospital was founded about 1601, for six poor men, who have a weekly allowance of 17s. 6d. each. This hospital and St. Giles's are in the patronage of the Corporation; and there is a chapel common to both, in which divine service is performed twice a week. Lazarus, or sick man's, hospital, originally a religious foundation for lazars, is now appropriated to the reception of six poor widows, among whom £1710 is annually divided by direction of the mayor and corporation. Price's hospital was founded in 1636, by W. Price, merchant of London, for twelve poor men, and a chaplain, who performs duty thrice a week and has a salary of £10 per annum: each inmate receives 10s. per week; the institution is under the care of the mayor and aldermen.

Trinity hospital was founded by Thomas Kerry, Esq., in 1600, for one corporal, two poor unmarried men, and twelve widows, each receiving 5s. per week the present building was erected by subscription in 1825, and contains sixteen dwellings; it is under the superintendence of the mayor and corporation, who are governors.

Coningsby's hospital was founded by Sir Thomas Coningsby, Knt., in 1614; it stands on the site of a small building and chapel formerly belonging to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and contains twelve apartments, a chapel, and a hall: the master is styled, according to the founder's will, Corporal Coningsby, and the ten members, servitors; the corporal and five servitors must have performed at least three years actual service as soldiers, and be natives of the counties of Hereford, Worcester, or Salop; the remaining five to be old men of seven years service in the ranks: the allowances are £20 per annum to the chaplain, £1. 13. 4. per month to the corporal, £1. 1. 85. per month to each of the servitors, with a scarlet suit of clothes and a hat every second year, and a scarlet cloak every third year: an excellent garden is attached to the building. The vicarage of Bodenham, in this county, with all its appurtenances, is, by the founder's will, appropriated to the successive chaplains. The Hampton Court estate, in this county, is charged with the support of this hospital, and the holder of it is the governor; the judges of assize are visitors of the institution.

Symonds's almshouse was founded in 1695, for four decayed housekeepers, who receive 10s. per quarter each, chargeable on an estate at Breinton, the proprietor of which is patron of the charity. In addition to these are, Weaver's hospital for five poor persons, who receive £2. 13. per annum each; and Shelley's hospital, founded about 1640, and rebuilt in 1801, for six poor widows, who receive £5 per annum each: there are also various other minor charities of different kinds. In the reign of Henry VIII., John Phillips, citizen of Hereford, gave lands and tenements of the clear yearly value of £28. 1. 4., to exempt all persons from the payment of toll at the several gates of the city.

In the reign of Mary, Sir Thomas White, alderman of London, gave the sum of £100 to each of twenty-four cities, of which Hereford is one, to be lent to young freemen, and a further sum of £4 to the mayor, for executing this trust. George Cope, D.D., who died in 1821, was an extensive benefactor to this city, having bequeathed £1000 to the Dean and Chapter, in trust to distribute the interest annually among ten aged single women of virtuous character; £500 towards erecting a window of stained glass for the east end of the choir, or west end of the nave, of the cathedral; £200, the interest to provide an eighth chorister under certain conditions; £200 to the general infirmary; £200, the interest to provide fuel for the poor of St. Ethelbert's hospital at Christmas; £300, the interest to be paid to the poor of St. Peter's parish; 41000, for equal division between four benevolent institutions; £300, the interest to be paid to the poor of Madley; £300 to the poor of Bromyard; £200 to those of Allansmore; and £200 to those of Selleck and King's Castle.

Prior to the Reformation, Hereford contained several monastic establishments. A college of Grey friars was founded in the reign of Edward I., by Sir William Pembridge, Knt.: amongst the many distinguished-persons buried in it was Owen Tudor, otherwise Meredith, father ,of Edmund, Earl of Richmond, and grandfather of Henry VII., who, according to tradition, was interred in the nave of the church, without any monumental memorial. St. Guthlac's priory, originally a college of Prebendaries, afterwards became a cell to the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter, at Gloucester; the revenue, at the dissolution, was £121. 3. 3.: the new county gaol and house of correction now occupies the site. The monastery of Black friars, the largest and most celebrated of all the ancient religious houses, was originally established under the auspices of William, brother of Bishop Cantelupe, and situated in the Portfield, in Bye-street suburb, but afterwards removed to Widemarsh suburb, where a new church and priory were commenced, in the reign of Edward II., and completed in that of Edward III., who, with his son, the Black Prince, two archbishops, and several bishops and nobles, were present at the dedication; it became a nourishing institution, and many persons of distinction were interred in the church. The only remaining vestiges of the ancient buildings are the south side of the prior's lodgings, some decayed offices, and a curious ancient stone pulpit, which has been much admired.

About a mile westward from the city is the "White Cross", built by Dr. Lewis Charleton, afterwards bishop of this see, about 1347, as a market-place for the country people, during the ravages of an infectious disorder with which the city was at that time visited. According to tradition, reservoirs of vinegar were placed on each side of the cross, for the purification of articles brought from the city, and suspected to be infectious: the base of the cross consists of an hexagonal flight of seven steps; the lower and only remaining part of the shaft is hexagonal, six feet high, and two feet wide, exclusively of a pillar between each side, in which are as many niches, with shields, and lions rampant: above is an embattled parapet, with mouldings and base of the upper division; the present entire height is fifteen feet.

Hereford has given birth to several eminent persons, amongst whom are, John Breton, L.L.D., bishop of the diocese in the thirteenth century, who wrote a celebrated work called "The Laws of England"; David Garrick, the inimitable comedian, who was born at the Angel Inn, Widemarsh-street, in 1716, his father bearing at that time a lieutenant's commission in a regiment of horse quartered here; and the famous Eleanor Gwyn, favourite of Charles II., who was born in an humble dwelling in Pipe-lane, in this city.

BULLINGHAM (LOWER), a hamlet in the parish of UPPER-BULLINGHAM, hundred of WEBTREE, county of HEREFORD, 1 mile (S. by E.) from Hereford, containing 264 inhabitants.

GRAFTON, a township in that part of the parish of ALL-SAINTS-HEREFORD, which is in the hundred of WEBTREE, county of HEREFORD, containing 45 inhabitants.

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